What is Functional Medicine?
Functional Medicine is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century.
By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners look at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease.
- Why is Functional Medicine needed?
- Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
- The system of medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute care, the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, such as appendicitis or a broken leg.
- The acute-care approach to medicine lacks the proper methodology and tools for preventing and treating complex, chronic disease.
- There’s a huge gap between research and the way doctors practice. The gap between emerging research in basic sciences and integration into medical practice is enormous, particularly in the area of complex, chronic illness.
- Most physicians are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease and to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these illnesses in their patients.
What is Functional Nutrition?
Functional Nutrition emphasises the importance of high quality foods and phytonutrient diversity to address clinical imbalances and move individuals toward optimal health, while preventing diet-and lifestyle-related disease.
Why do we need Fuctional Nutrition?
- The prevalence of complex, chronic diseases is increasing worldwide, from heart disease and diabetes to irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, mental illness and other autoimmune disorders.
- Chronic diseases are diet- and lifestyle-related diseases and require dietary and lifestyle solutions. A major strength of Functional Nutrition is its focus on the molecular mechanisms that underlie disease, providing the basis for targeted, innovative solutions that can restore health.
- The current healthcare system fails to take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual or the ability of food, toxins, and other environmental factors to influence geneexpression. The interaction between genes and environmental factors is a critical component in the development of chronic disease and plays a central role in the Functional Nutrition approach.
- Most nutrition professionals are not adequately trained in integrating nutrition assessment at the molecular and cellular levels with emerging research in nutrition and nutritional genomics. These advanced practice skills are essential for preventing and managing today’s chronic disorders.